Frequently Asked Questions
Q.How can I get involved?
Q.It’s not up to EDO how their products are used. How can you call them war criminals?
Q.Okay, so EDO make components which are used to bomb sites from military aircraft. So what?
Q.If EDO didn’t make what they do how would we defend ourselves?
Q.EDO provide employment in the local community, do you want to see all those people unemployed?
There are loads of things you can do. You can check the events page to see any upcoming actions or events which take your fancy. You can download a newsletter or other material from the resources page to distribute to friends and workmates. Or you can organise something yourself, if you have any ideas. And of course, feel free to get in touch or donate!
It is true that EDO do not decide how their products are used (although bomb-release mechanisms aren’t exactly versatile), but they do decide who to sell them to. Bruno Tesch, a 1940s German industrialist found himself in this position (1). His firm manufactured gas for the extermination of vermin, which was lawful. But they also sold it to the Nazi SS who used it in the gas chambers to exterminate people. In his trial at Nuremberg, it was found that because Tesch had a good idea of the criminal ends his products were put to, he was guilty as an accessory. After years of campaigning the directors of EDO can be under no illusions about what their products are being used for in Iraq and elsewhere, and therefore they are complicit in war crimes.
190,000 dead Iraqis (2). A major part of those caused by the invaders’ use of air strikes. “The GBU-12 Paveway, laserguided 500-pound bomb was the most commonly used precision weapon in the war. Some 7,114 were used” in the first weeks of the war. EDO are complicit in the sixty-three 9-11s suffered by the Iraqi people since the invasion in 2003. It is only possible to say ‘so what?’ if you believe that Iraqi lives are worth less than those of others.
According to the Ministry of Defence “there is no longer a direct threat to Western Europe or the United Kingdom” .Therefore, “long range air attack” will be used “as a coercive instrument to support political objectives” Paveway bombs are not a defensive weapon, they are a major part of the arsenal of coercion. However much EDO’s apologists would like to call their trade in death ‘the defence industry’, this is as euphemistic as calling thousands of dead civilians ‘collateral damage’.
Heroin dealing, slave trading and running concentration camps all provide employment – but do we support them? No, because there are more important things than just work – the antisocial effects or nature of that work. The arms industry as a whole is subsidised by taxpayers to the tune of at least £12,000 per job per year (3)- compared to around £3000/year on the dole. In other words, every job in the arms trade costs about the same as four people on the dole! EDO employ around 100 people at Emblem House. If it was a straight choice between war crimes and jobs – how many innocent lives is a job worth? Luckily for EDO, they have previously manufactured relatively benign civilian products, which could continue to provide employment whilst ending their support for war crimes.
1 The Zyklon B Case at http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/WCC/zyklonb.htm